Guy Boucher has seen enough.
He can no longer sit still.
Since his abilities are limited, the head coach of the Ottawa Senators sent players in training at the Canadian Tire Center on Sunday afternoon, changing all the combinations of front lines and then doing exercises focused on physical activity.
The senators are losing four games and are preparing to close 2018 on the road against Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night, Boucher broke the top line of Mark Stone, Colin White and Brady Tkachuk.
Besides the fact that Chris Tierney landed in the center between Tkachuk, Stone and White on the wing next to Matt Duchenne and Bobby Ryan, the most notable change was the use of winger Ryan Zingel on the fourth line with Tom Payette and Nick Paul.
By adding a 3: 2 loss to Washington Capitals on Saturday, senators can still miss four regular players, including goalkeeper Craig Anderson, but this is no excuse.
"I want more of what you saw in the second and third periods, and this is more drive," said Boucher on Sunday before the senators' charter flight to Columbus. “We are just too perimeter.
“We just have too many guys who are trying to master it and (use) the perimeter and look for space when there is no space there.” Most of the game you have to charge through the game. I like the White Line, it's incredible, but we can't be a team from one line, and this is what we have been lately. ”
Boucher said he had to try something new by breaking the White Trio, because the senators did not win, and success was always part of the recovery plan.
“These three guys (White, Stone and Tkachuk) worked so hard, and it's nice to watch them, but we need a team,” added Boucher. “It’s not that I want to split the lineup, but I have to distribute my hardworking elements throughout the lineup.”
Of course, there is a risk, but Boucher pays for making these decisions, and senators 3-8-1 in their last 12 games of the National Hockey League. A losing five-game series by the end of 2018 would only exacerbate the growing frustration, and some of these guys have clearly not achieved success.
Zingel, who can become an unlimited free agent if he is not re-signed before July 1, has not met expectations. He has three goals and three assists in 13 games in December, and it will not work. When Boucher talks about guys who need to pay a price, Dzingel is one of them.
Players will not like some of the decisions taken by Boucher and his assistants, but the time has come to deploy the senators' ship.
“There is a danger of getting out of the house and falling face down the stairs,” said Boucher with a laugh. “If I always stopped myself in danger, I could also sit on my couch. It is always about deciding to move forward.
"One of the things that I know is that I can always step back and return to this (white, stone, weaver) line, but all I know is if this is the only line that has an identity that I want, then we are not going to win in many games. Right now, we need to spread it and we hope to have a hardworking identity. We are going to the barn, which is difficult to play, because (Columbus) is a very, very hardworking team.
“We are not going to replay anyone. We do not have this. In the minute when we do not work more than the enemy, we do not enter the top. If you look at the last two games, we had the best of the New York Islanders (on Friday), because we outdid them in the first two periods.
“We were the best team in the second and third (against Washington), but there was a period when we did not beat the opponent. We need to find combinations that will give us 60 minutes of work, paying the price, being first on the puck, making checks to make games, blocking blows, looking, tipping and fighting around our network. Here is how you get a personality.
It would be wrong for Boucher not to try to take a fresh look.
“The biggest risk is to do nothing, and then nothing happens, and this is the worst for me in life. “Nothing,” Boucher said. "For me, shake, find, try, adjust, adjust, and then reconfigure again, and this is how you can determine your best combinations."